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 Chapter Twelve

Not too long after Brooke screamed and ran out of the studio, Abby walked in. Brooke was in the bathroom, preparing herself for class, but Abby had enough. She took the nearest chair that they were using and threw it as hard as she could on the ground. Maddie and Chloe jumped back, both hugging on a different boy. Chloe was with Nick and Maddie with Brandon.

“Why is she such a cry baby?!” Abby screamed.

“She’s not…” Paige squeaked out, trying to stand up for her sister.

Abby eyed Paige, “And you’re a loud mouth! You always have something to say, don’t you? You and your sister…” Abby shook her head.

Kelly also shook her head in the viewing room. Christi rolled her eyes and Melissa hid her face. Holly thought, Why are you such an uneducated woman? Kelly began to get up as Abby screamed. Kelly smoothed down her dress. Melissa nodded at Kelly. Without having to say a word, the women knew what Kelly was about to do.

“All she does is cry and cry and cry and she never ever smiles, or at least I never see it!” Abby screamed. “She’s a brute and Kelly is enabling her to be like that! Do you girls want to be like Brooke? Crying all the time and always involved with drama? Do you ladies want a hurt back and a broken heart? Don’t be like Brooke!”

“You go, Kel.” Christi calmly said as Kelly walked down the stairs to the dancers den.

Kelly barged into studio A. And boy, was Kelly about to explode. Kelly had taken twelve years of Abby screaming at Brooke, and quite frankly she had enough. Kelly properly fixed the chair and guided all of the kids out except for Nick and Brandon. As Paige walked out, Kelly placed a kiss on the top of her blonde head. Kelly’s flats tapped on the dance floor as she made her way over to the big black cloud of Abby Lee Miller and the two boys. Kelly crossed her arms and as politely as she could, she was going to rip them a new one.

“You bitches are nothing but little pricks who love to bully little girls. Brooke just cried her heart out because of you.” Kelly pointed and Brandon. “Brooke is the happiest girl in the world. She prances around at home singing and dancing, but when she gets here, you scare her and yell at her so much, she’s afraid to be happy. She’s afraid to be herself and smile and laugh. And all those little girls out there are dying to be Brooke. Paige told me that Maddie even said that she wanted to be like Brooke!”

“I don’t know why!” Abby threw her hands in the air. “There’s nothing special about her.”

“Really…” Brandon mumbled under his breath. To look like a good boyfriend, he thought of something sweet and then said, “Brooke is beautiful. I want to be like her. That came out wrong…”

Kelly went on, “Brooke is beautiful and such a talented dancer. Every boy from ten miles around is trying to get her to notice her. She got a note in her locker that she didn’t even know who it was from! I wish I was like Brooke when I was fourteen, nearly fifteen years old!”

Nick backed away, seeing as none of this had to do with him. He walked out of the studio as Abby, Brandon, and Kelly screamed at each other. Kelly started to insult Abby. Nick opened the door and slid out, hoping none of the girls were right there next to the door. Chloe and Paige ran to Nick. He hugged them both, one at a time. He hugged Chloe and then he moved to Paige. He hugged Paige for a little longer than he did Chloe. He maneuvered through the crowd of the entire junior company in the dancers den and met Brooke on the other side. He scooped her up into his arms.

“What’s going on?” Brooke asked, hugging back.  

Nick shook his head, “Nothing…Just, I need to tell you something.”

“What?” Brooke asked, not letting go of Nick. Why do I have butterflies? Brooke asked herself. Why does this feel so right but so wrong?

The junior company gasped and Paige let out a loud cry as Kelly swung the door open. She stomped out, grabbing Paige by the wrist. Kelly called Brooke before Nick could get two words out. Brooke jumped back and let of Nick as she saw Brandon come to the doorway. Brooke grabbed her bag up off the ground and followed Kelly out.

Back inside, Abby threw her hands up in the air and invited her elite company back in. Maddie and Chloe warily walked into the studio. There was an awkward silence about it. Brandon and Nick met at the door and walked in together. Nia and Mackenzie followed behind. Abby had them run the dance over and over again until it was perfect without Brooke and Paige, just in case Kelly didn’t let them come back.

“Okay, I’m changing the music.” Abby nodded. “I’ve had this music for a while, but I didn’t know if I wanted to use it or not. I’ve made my mind up, and I’m going to use it. It’s called ‘Dear Mr. Jesus’ and I’m pretty sure it will hush the crowd.”

Nick shoots Brandon a look. He had danced to the song years ago but never knew what it meant and why the audience was crying. Abby started to play the song as the kids began to dance, marking everything when Brooke and Paige had to be lifted or spun or they had their own special part. By the time the dance was over, everyone in the room was quiet and the moms upstairs were speechless, except Holly. She always had something to say, and it always was agreeable and intelligent.

After a few awkward seconds of silence, Holly spoke up, “That was beautiful. This number better win.”

“Amen, Dr. Holly,” Christi nodded.

Melissa wiped her tears off of her cheeks, “I don’t know why I’m getting emotional. The dance isn’t even finished yet.”

 

Kelly angrily drove home. Paige was angry she had to leave and Brooke was confused. The air was turned up way too cold. The hairs on Brooke’s arms stood straight up. She was half-naked still, as was Paige. Brooke stared at the trees, they were all blending in.

“If I call Brandon or Nina to come get me, could I go back?” Brooke asks with a raspy voice. She’s been crying the entire way home and fought of the sound as much as she could.

Kelly didn’t answer right away. As they turned into their neighborhood, Kelly nodded, “Sure, but just a few hours ago, you were crying and screaming, begging me not to make you go to dance. What changed Brooke?”

Brooke shrugged, feeling the tears come back. Her voice was croakier than before, “I don’t know.” She shrugged, “I love dancing. I just wanna go back.”

“Fine.” Kelly said. “Call Brandon.”

“Can I go too?” Paige asked with a squeaky voice.

“Yeah,” Kelly said. “I just hate how Abby treats you.”

“She just wants to prepare us for the real world,” Paige said.

Kelly pulled into their house. She cranked the car down and walked inside the house, leaving the girls outside. Brooke grabbed her large duffle bag and went to sit on the curb. Paige followed with her small, shoulder sling bag. Brooke put her phone to her ear. The sun blared on their backs, warming them up from the long, cold car ride.

“Is he answering?” Paige asked.

Brooke shook her head and bit the inside of her cheeks. The phone kept ringing and ringing. As Brooke pulled the phone away to hang up, she heard a tiny blip of what she thought was Brandon answering the phone.

“Hello?” She pulled the phone back to her ear.

“BROOKE?!” It was Abby on Brandon’s phone. “Where are you?”

Brooke started sobbing, “I’m at home with Paige. I was just calling to see if Brandon could come pick us up. Mom won’t let us come back unless we have a ride.”

“Okay,” Abby said. “Stop crying or put Paige on the phone.”

Brooke sniffed the tears back and wiped her cheeks. She took a deep breath and counted to ten. One, two, three...Breathe in and out. Brooke counted in her head. “Okay, I’m better.” Brooke said.

“Good,” Abby said. “I’m sending James towards you now. Could you two walk to the gast station that’s just up the road from you? You’d get there around the same time?”

“Of course.” Brooke nodded. “Thank you so much.”

“You’re welcome.” Abby said. Right as Brooke pulled the phone away, Abby called her name again. “Brooke! You’re welcome at my house any time you wanna get away from your house. Alright?”

Brooke smiled, “Alright. And Ms. Abby?”

“Yes Brooke?” She asked.

“I’m smiling.” Brooke giggled.

Abby nodded at the studio, watching James walk out of the studio. “I know. I can feel it.”


Submitted: October 03, 2012

© Copyright 2022 laciandlaura. All rights reserved.

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